Sat 21 May 2022

The Value of a Leg Injury

According to the NHS, the average Brit takes nearly 1.5 million steps per year. With this in mind, it's clear to see why an injury to the leg can be very serious. Without full use of our legs, mobility can be seriously compromised. Injuries to the leg can be very painful and can take many months to recover from.

If a leg is injured, like any other part of your body, you may be entitled to make a claim for compensation. To be successful in recovering compensation, someone else must be at fault for your accident. This may be an individual, a business, or a public body. For instance, if you injured your leg in a road traffic accident you may be entitled to make a compensation claim against the third-party driver.

Structure of the Leg

The leg is comprised of bones, muscle, and connective tissues. It can be divided into three distinct regions - the thigh; the shin; and the foot. The thigh and shin contain the four main bones of the leg, and it is here where most injuries are sustained. The femur or thigh bone, is the large bone that connects the hip joint to the knee joint. The femur is the longest and strongest bone in the human body and can account for up to one quarter of a person's total height. The tibia or shin bone, is a large weight-bearing bone that runs from the knee joint to the ankle. It is responsible for weight-bearing in the lower leg. The tibia is supported by the smaller fibula. The fibula has no weight-bearing capabilities itself, but instead provides muscle attachment for the lower leg. Finally, the patella or kneecap, is the largest joint bone in the body and connects the femur and tibia. The patella allows the movement of our knee joint.

Types of Leg Injury

There are a range of leg injuries that can be sustained. The most common include fractures, soft tissue damage, or joint dislocation. A fracture is a break in any of the bones of the leg, and the rehabilitation process is typically much longer than that of a simple sprain. A sprain is when damage is sustained to one of the ligaments in the leg.

Broken bones in the leg can lead to a number of complications. It's common for muscles and nerves to sustain damage when a leg bone breaks. This can lead to loss of movement and sensation in the leg. Leg injuries often lead to Compartment Syndrome. This occurs when bleeding or swelling within an enclosed bundle of muscles causes pressure within the leg to increase. This build of pressure can restrict blood flow to surrounding areas, damaging nearby muscles and nerves. This can also lead to loss of movement in the leg.

What can you make a leg injury claim for?

If you have suffered a leg injury, the amount of compensation  you are entitled to will depend on the severity of the injury and the impact it has had, and will continue to have, on your life. Some of the factors to be considered when assessing the level of compensation are:-

  • The degree of pain experienced and the length of time it takes to make a full recovery;
  • The impact of the injury on your everyday life and the long-term impact it will have. This includes the ability to continue to work or take part in hobbies and activities previously enjoyed;
  • Wage loss, both past and future, and whether any services have been required by family and friends;
  • The extent of the treatment required, particularly whether surgery was needed; and
  • Whether there was a pre-existing leg or mobility problems and the extent to which this was exacerbated by the accident.

What could your leg injury claim be worth?

Our experienced personal injury solicitors will be able to consider the various factors and advise how much you are likely to receive in compensation.

Morton Fraser's Compensation Calculator is a handy guide which can provide you with an indication of the value of your injury. It is based on the Judicial College Guidelines which take account of recent court decisions and serve as a reference point for lawyers when considering compensation. The recommended awards for leg injuries are set out below.

  • Minor soft tissue injuries or simple fractures to the tibia or fibula would likely result in an award up to £10,100. The court would consider the seriousness of the injury before making an award. For instance, a very modest injury that heals within a few months may attract an award of less than £2,090.
  • A simple fracture to the femur with no damage to surrounding tissue may be awarded between £7,780 and £12,010.
  • More significant fractures from which an incomplete recovery is made may be valued at between £15,320 and £23,680.
  • Moderate injuries involving multiple fractures or severe crushing of the leg would attract an award of between £23,680 and £33,450.
  • Serious open fractures or injuries resulting in ongoing instability, lengthy periods on non-weight-bearing, or extensive scarring may be awarded between £33,450 and £46,780.
  • Very serious leg injuries that lead to permanent mobility problems or have taken several years to heal with extensive treatment may result in an award between £46,780 and £77,040.
  • The most serious of leg injuries, where there has been gross shortening of the leg or where bone grafting has been required can attract awards in the region of £82,110 to £115,940.

Very serious leg injuries may result in partial or complete amputation of one or both limbs. Understandably, the compensation appropriate for these injuries can be much higher than for lesser injuries. Relevant factors might include phantom limb pains, the requirement for a prosthetic limb, the associated psychological problems, as well as the increased likelihood of developing osteoarthritis. The suggested awards for amputations are set out below.

  • A below-knee amputation of one leg with no complications might be valued at around £83,590 to £113,450.
  • An above-knee amputation of one leg might be valued between £89,440 and £117,280.
  • Injuries that lead to below-knee amputations of both legs would likely be valued in the range of £171,920 to £230,440.
  • Above-knee amputation of both legs, or injuries leading to above-knee amputation of one leg and below-knee amputation of the other leg, would be valued in the region of £205,420 to £240,590.

Leg injury claim case study

We have successfully recovered damages in a number of cases where individuals suffered leg injuries. Recently, a significant sum was recovered on behalf of our client who suffered an accident at work. Our client had been assisting with loading metal beams onto a trailer when he fell between the beams, resulting in a crush injury to his leg including a fracture to his tibia and fibula. The impact of the injury on our client's life was significant as he sustained permanent damage which continues to impact on his mobility. The injuries mean that he is not physically able to return to the job he previously carried out, resulting in substantial loss of earnings. In addition to the physical symptoms experienced by our client, he also experienced mental health issues as a result of the trauma for which compensation was also appropriate.

Who is the claim against?

Who is liable to pay compensation will depend upon the circumstances of the accident and who is to blame for the accident occurring?  Many leg injuries are caused as a result of slipping or tripping in a public place. For example, if you trip while crossing the road due to a pothole, the Council responsible for maintaining that road may be liable. You may also be entitled to make a claim for medical negligence if your leg injury is due to a surgical error, delayed treatment or misdiagnosis. Our Personal Injury lawyers based in Glasgow and Edinburgh have extensive experience in pursuing all types of claims and we can provide you with advice on who is liable to pay compensation once we have discussed the facts and circumstances of your leg injury claim.

Next steps in terms of your leg injury claim

The above guidelines and our Compensation Calculator provide an initial indication of the values a Court may award for the 'pain and suffering' you have endured but do not take into account other  losses such as assistance you required following your accident, the cost of medical treatment, past and future wage loss, pension loss and any other expenses you have incurred as a result of the accident. Each individual case must be considered on its own facts and circumstances. Our experienced Personal Injury team will take the time to assess your claim and can help you get the compensation you are entitled to. Contact our personal injury lawyers today on 0131 247 1000 or through our personal injury compensation enquiry form.

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